Assessing the cost of juvenile arthritis
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common rheumatic disease in childhood, yet unlike adult arthritis, little is known about its economic impact. A new study published in the February 2007 issue of Arthritis Care & Research examined direct medical costs of children with JIA and found that the economic impact was substantial.
Led by Drs. Ann Clarke, Ciaran Duffy, and Sasha Bernatsky of the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, Quebec, the study involved 155 children with JIA and 181 controls from two hospitals in Montreal and Vancouver, Canada. Subjects' parents were given a questionnaire about the use of medications and health services during the preceding three months, without specifying any particular disease. Researchers also asked parents about time loss from their work and days missed from school for the children.
The study was the first to quantify an association between Juvenile idiopathic arthritis disease activity and health care costs and found that the difference in annualized average direct medical costs for the